It’s hard to argue with Volvo’s progress into luxury territory in recent times, as the brand has gone from strength to strength with its latest models like S90, XC60 and XC90.
The product offensive doesn’t stop here either, as the Swedish carmaker plans to offer an even smaller SUV called the XC40, so let’s take an unofficial, illustrated first look at the compact crossover that will rival the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
The XC40 adds a bit of funk to Volvo’s recent design language. Heavily inspired by the XC40 Concept that debuted last year, it has stubby, upright proportions, a broad corporate grille and ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlight theme.
Sheetmetal surfacing is hard-edged, sculptured and modern. Perhaps the most striking aspects are the up-kink near the c-pillar, deeply scolloped lower doors, subtle rear spoiler and contrasting black roof.
Slotting under the XC60 in terms of size, there’s also familiarity when it comes to interior styling. Cue a portrait-style tablet infotainment touchscreen, S-shaped door panels, premium materials and lots of cowhide trim.
Being based on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), it’ll offer plenty of space and top-shelf safety. The latter is expected to reach new heights with a refined version of Volvo’s automated Drive Pilot, which allows for self-steering and breaking.
The XC40 will feature a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder called the T5. This Twin-Engine, petrol-electric hybrid uses similar tech from the Drive-E unit found in the larger XC90. Paired with a 7-speed, dual clutch transmission, it will make for quick gear changes and greater efficiency.
Speaking of efficiency, Volvo have previously stated that their first electric car will be CMA-based. This bodes well for the XC40, as packaging advantages of an SUV body should allow for a fully-electric powertrain.
Performance fans shouldn’t feel left out either, as it’s tipped that Polestar will turn up the heat, with a twin-turbo and supercharged 2.0-litre T6 variant.
Look for an official reveal later this year, possibly as early as the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Does Volvo’s smallest crossover have the potential to become the brand’s biggest selling model? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes